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15 Ways to Be More Productive This Summer


So you’re done with finals: now what? Whether you’re working, taking summer classes or just relaxing around the house maybe you’re looking to be more productive. Rather than just sitting around, watching TV, and doing nothing in your free time, check out a few of my tips for avoiding that summertime slump.


1. Purchase a planner, schedule, or calendar.

If you’re trying to stay on track during the summer consider purchasing or using a planning device you already have, such as a planner, schedule, or calendar. You can even buy wall decal calendars if you want to see your schedule on a larger scale. These are a good way to keep track of daily to-do lists, meeting up with friends, summer class schedules, work schedules, or even when you want to read certain books over the summer.


2. Stick to the same sleep schedule.

We here at Her Campus Oregon State recommend reading Arianna Huffington’s new book The Sleep Revolution. In the book you will learn all about the negative effects of not getting enough sleep and how you can step up your sleeping regimen to feel more well rested. Sticking to the same sleep schedule as you did during the school year or a similar one is crucial so you aren’t sleeping in until noon every day during the summer and feeling groggier than if you had woken up even just an hour earlier.


3. Stay up on current events.

As someone who is successfully adulting (or who wants to) it’s important to stay up on current events in the world. There isn’t just one way to catch up on the news so do so in whatever way works for your schedule in order to be more informed. I personally recommend checking out SourceFed for their fun and informative 5 minute news videos, theSkimm for their daily email newsletter, USA Today’s easy to navigate website,  or any of the mobile apps available for your local news or national networks such as CNN, CBS, or Fox.


4. Keep cool.

To avoid heat-related illnesses, ranging from heat cramps to heat exhaustion and heat stroke, and up your productivity on even the hottest of summer days, try to keep cool. Purchase a fan to help circulate the air in your house, wear loose-fitting clothing of a light color, and drink plenty of water to help you feel better this summer.


5. Plan larger day trips ahead.

Get out a state map, pick a random city on it, and plan a mini-vacation. Make an agenda of all the things you’ll want to do there, pick at least one fancy-ish restaurant, and just explore!


6. Start a journal.

It’s hard during the school year to really take time and reflect on your day once it’s over. You go to classes, work, and by the time you get done with your school work all you want to do is sleep. Now that you have a little extra free time why not take that time to reflect and learn about yourself? A good place to start is having a general template for each day where you discuss your short and long  term goals, your current successes and setbacks, and daily activities. Bullet journaling has recently become very popular and is a great way to combine journaling and daily planning if you’d like to learn more.


7. Volunteer for a cause that interests you.

Walk a few dogs at the local animal shelter, volunteer at the soup kitchen, help shelve books at the local library, or even help provide event set-up for the community. Find a cause that interests you, beef up your resume, and just get out there and get involved.


8. Exercise regularly.

During the school year it can be hard to fit in a good workout between school, work, and extracurriculars. Why not take the summer to change your bad exercise habits? Exercising will help to keep your mind sharp, your endorphins running, and your body strong. Jump on the ellipticals in Dixon, take a hike on one of the many trails around town, or sign up for a fit pass and take a variety of classes.


9. Get crafty.

Get crafty this summer by taking up needlepoint, picking up some adult coloring books, knitting, sewing, painting, or customizing any variety of items you use on a daily basis. Pinterest has an abundance of cute tutorials to help you get your craft on. Just have fun with it!


10. Check out a museum or art festival.

Inject a dose of culture and creativity in your life by attending an art festival or checking out a local museum in your area. I recommend checking out the Arts Center, the Benton County Historical Society Museum, Hallie Ford Museum of Art, or any of the various collections on campus.


11. Read for fun.

During the school year you have to read textbooks, guide books, pamphlets, and so many more reading materials that you don’t enjoy. So why not grab a book during the summer that you’ll actually enjoy. Try the Valley Library or the Benton County Library to start for some free reading material you’re sure to enjoy!


12. Take up a new hobby.

Learn to cook a killer soup recipe, take up a second language, get really good at calligraphy, or even try your hand at juggling. There are so many hobbies you can start and if you don’t like one just try another. There is no harm in getting out there and acting boldly.  


13. Spruce up your look.

Whether it’s something as simple as a manicure with a fresh citrus shade, as drastic as an edgy new haircut, or as fun as a whole new wardrobe on a budget from one of the many thrift stores in town there is a new look out there for you. Sometimes you just need to hit the refresh button and this is a great way to do that.


14. Clean up your living space.

Cleaning up your room and living space will help you feel much more organized. Clean out your backpack, organize all those piles of papers, get a filing system down, vacuum, and dust your shelves. Cleaning will help you sift through what you have along with helping you establish an organization system for the future. This can only help you in the fall when your schedule gets even more hectic and you proceed to get messy all over again.


15. Relax!

Before you know it you’ll be back on campus stressing out about homework and a growing list of responsibilities so why not make your summer count before then. Take time to relax by napping, taking a spa day, or doing whatever soothes you. But also act boldly once you’re feeling well rested by trying that new beauty look, taking that trip, and getting on track so you’ll feel more organized than ever come September. You won’t regret it. I promise you that.


Be #BeaverBold this summer!


Madeline is a Senior at Oregon State majoring in Merchandising Management and minoring in writing. She was the 2016-'17 president of Chi Theta Phi, a local design sorority on campus. If she's not in class, at a club meeting, chapter, or writing, she's probably spending time with her family, friends, walking her dogs, eating junk food, or watching too many crime, comedy, or fashion shows on Netflix. She likes cheese, dogs, creative projects, obnoxious animal prints, garage sales, farmer's markets, and generally just being silly. 
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